Saturday, May 29, 2010

Look with Your Special Eyes

There's still a little haze and glow and oddness going on, but I have 20/20 vision as of today. I got Lasik done yesterday afternoon, slept all evening and night in a mercifully drug induced stupor (apparently there is itching and burning, but you don't know because the vitamin V kicks in with the painkiller and you sleep through the whole thing.), then woke up being able to see. I was still a little shaky, so the friend who drove me to my appointment yesterday also drove me back this morning for the followup. I could have made it the mile to my local doc, but they were out for the weekend and I wasn't up to the trip to the Valley just yet.

I'm now trying to figure out what to do today that won't stress out my eyes. I can't do more renovation because dust in my eyes would be bad, bad, bad. I can't read because it would be a little too much strain. I can't hike because of dust. They don't want me to sweat into my eyes for a week or 4 either. So. I will probably be watching TV. The computer screen still has a little too much glow to be comfortable, but the auras should recede as my eyes heal.

When I can get back at it, my updates will include the reasons for my recent radio silence. I've been busy. Really!
More lasik info, maybe
The bathroom reno (vanity area) that got completed in time to not have any dust hanging around to mess up my eyes
Gratitude for the friend who drove me to my appointments
Total consternation about the fact that BP appears not to have given any thought whatsoever to contingency planning for the event that a well might leak
Good reads recently by: Eileen Wilks, Patricia Briggs, and Pamela Clare
Upcoming wedding trip to boston
Going to singles mixers with my neighbor
Working out with a trainer at Golds Gym (properly pronounced /"Guy-m"/ ala Homer)

Plus, I have 2 days to knock out my May baking, but we'll have to wait for next month to do the rainbow cake again because I just ordered an industrial kit of 12 food colors...

What are you all up to these days?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The big day was yesterday. I could have used a final run through - not so much so I knew what I was saying, but so that I would be so comfortable with what I was saying (or not saying, as the case may be) that I would have enough brain space to devote more attention to the prosody type things about the presentation - rate, looking at audience enough, highlighting the main points. I think I did well enough at it, but there are still bits that were sufficiently stressful that I don't remember them clearly which sometimes happens to me.

Still and all, I thought it was pretty good: I think I remembered to say most of what I wanted to say; I looked at the audience some; I didn't abuse the laser pointer; I got generally positive comments; I didn't develop any spontaneous tics (I brushed my nose with the back of my index finger roughly 2 dozen times during the dry run. I don't recall ever doing that ever before or since, at least not more than once in a row.) Lastly, I asked our director of operations if I was still employed and he said yes. I take the fact that he was comfortable enough to slip into a postprandial doze as that he wasn't nervous about what I was saying.

I wound up having a pretty large audience. It was the 3rd paper after lunch - long enough after for people to show up, not so long that they slipped back out. The post lunch-break papers had pretty sparse attendance comparatively.

Later on, there was a free-food-n-booze reception that I had to pass up to make it to my free-food-n-booze dinner out with a vendor before heading to a free-snack-n-booze party. Apparently the free booze helps boost conference attendance... No one got too rowdy, and I tried to mingle. I chatted with people from other companies, made sure to follow up with the lady I put off during Q&A as having too long a question, and met a few students including an student who insists she spells her name right even if she doesn't :P

We got to tour a submarine at the reception last night at the Museum of Science, where there was also free-food-n-booze. Turns out the coveted bunks are on top of the torpedoes - there's space to sit up and air conditioning in there.
bunks over bo.mbsThe rest of the quarters are cramped and the ceilings are low enough to please Frank Lloyd Right. I got my 3rd try at touching a moon rock too. It's like rubbing a saint's toe*, but for engineers.

Overall the conference is decent.  I'm reminded yet again of why I didn't major in EE, but there's enough to keep me thinking.  They provide most of the food, there's that tiny time to get out and "see Portland". I would have enjoyed seeing more of the city, but I've been agitating for a couple years to get to the conference and blowing it off to buy books at Powells would just not be a good way to show my appreciation for the opportunity.  I did come out a little early, but spent that visiting friends in rural Salem.  (LAX has more exits off the freeway than state capital Salem does, if you count the 105, which I do.)

Portland's a nice little city when it's sunny.  They certainly seem more concerned about being "green" than anything I've seen in SoCal, and by "green" I don't mean "covered in moss" although it is that as well.  On one street corner yesterday, waiting for the shuttle, I saw a half dozen bikers, 3 people in life vests carrying paddles down to the river, quite a few people out walking and two walking and signing.  (I'm not a good enough signer to eavesdrop.)  I've enjoyed Jake's Seafood and the surprisingly fabulous Peruvian food place Andina and beer at Veritable Quandary so I haven't done that badly. I can recommend all these places as worth finding, should you be in Portland.

Today will be me winding down and trying not to fall asleep too much. I got this written because I was awakened at 4:30 AM with bile in the back of my throat and staying vertical seemed prudent. I don't want to end with that negative note, but I'm about ready to try and catnap until I really have to be up.

*For the saint's toe explanation...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Work Vacation

Not a busman's holiday, but I'm headed to Portland for a conference, which means it's different than my usual days, so it feels like a holiday, but I'm going to have to be "on" quite a lot, and smile. My presentation will be Wednesday afternoon. The presentation is on rev 7, and I've done a dry run, so I'm feeling pretty settled about it.

I haven't seen Ironman2 yet. Maybe if I need to escape on monday night...

I've just thrown money at a gold's gym trainer because I'm getting shockingly fat and that needs to stop.

Taking the plunge, I'm getting Lasik at the end of the month.
I'm going with Dr. Berg because they repeated the measurements until they were stable and can do all laser lasik and custom contoured surfaces.

Of course, the other docs I looked at do that too, but cost $800-$1300 more, not that this guy is cheap. All the docs I looked a have done tens of thousands of eyes. Runners up are Dougherty who does a lot of trial treatments and talks about eye surgery like a kid in a candy store and Assil who's on Rodeo drive and does a lot of really famous people.

I'm taking off tomorrow so I can hang a bit with my friends from Long Beach who reproduced then went off to the wilds of Oregon. If they didn't give me some decoy address...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crouching Brontesaurus, Hidden Otter

I'm not dead! I've actually been feeling pretty good since the (count 'em) fourth round of antibiotics. Interestingly enough, the digestive issues I've been fighting for a few months also went away.

I've kinda had things to say, but not much. Hope you're all well. I rather thought my 601st post might be better than this, but no such luck.
Except I ran into this

at this 3 degree of separation link .